Legal Terminology

Individuals Entitled to Employment Accommodations

Under California's Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA), reasonable accommodation should be made for a qualified individual with a disability when the employer is made known of the disability, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would cause undue hardship.

Who is Covered

Under the FEHA, a person with a "disability" is one who:

  1. has a mental or physical condition that "limits" a major life activity;
  2. has a record or history of such condition;
  3. is regarded as having a mental or physical condition

Reasonable Accommodation

Under the FEHA and the ADA, "reasonable accommodation" could constitute the following:

  1. "Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities; and
  2. Job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, and others similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities."

Qualified Individuals

Under the FEHA and the ADA, an individual with a disability who is qualified can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. 

Essential Functions

The FEHA defines "essential functions" as the "fundamental job duties of the employment position the individual with a disability holds or desires."  A duty may be considered an essential function if:

  1. the position exists to perform that duty;
  2. the duty is highly specialized; and/or
  3. there are a limited number of other employees available to perform the duty.

Employers are to establish the essential job functions of an employee's position.  Furthermore, essential functions of an employee's position can be determined from an employee's job description.


Where can I find more information on ADA legal terminology?